Polo fans on Kauai were treated to two exciting matches this past weekend at Anini Polo Field as Hanalei Bay defeated Hawke’s Bay in a game featuring 10 goal player Memo Gracida and his son Julio on Friday and Savage Pearls defeated Na Pali Properties in a squeaker on Sunday.
Hawke’s Bay got off to a good start with Max Secunda and Stuart Mackenzie moving the ball along.
After taking a pass from Secunda, Mackenzie in his casual but lethal style proceeded to send the ball over the goal line to put up the first score of the match.
Peter Ganibi cleared the toss in, but lost the ball to Julio Gracida. With tactical support from Ronnie Tongg, Julio put the ball between the pylons to score for Hanalei Bay.
The masterful generalship of Memo Gracida was much in evidence as he directed and assisted his players in their offensive and defensive maneuvers. Secunda completed the scoring for the chukker with two open runs to goal.
In the second chukker Hanalei Bay seemed to gel, and with excellent defensive play kept Hawke’s Bay from scoring.
Although Secunda and Mackenzie tried their hardest, they couldn’t stop the awesome father-son Gracida team who sliced through the traffic with Memo scoring for Hanalei Bay. Shortly before the period ended Julio scored again.
The third period saw Peter Ganibi, who had been playing extremely well in his back position, open the scoring with an assist from Julio.
But it was Tongg who got the ball and at full speed galloped down the field to end the scoring for the chukker.
Secunda and Tongg working together exhibited superb team play enabling Secunda to put up a score for Hawke’s Bay early in the final chukker. After Ron Bonaguidi took a penalty shot that was just wide, Julio wrested the knock in from Secunda. Again the spectators were treated to the ultra smooth father-son teamwork which resulted in a score by Memo.
Ganibi then steamed into action once again, took control, and made the final score of the game. When the horn sounded it was Hanalei Bay 6, Hawke’s Bay 5.
On Sunday. Savage Pearls eked out an exciting victory over Na Pali Properties.
The action was non-stop, continuing until the final moments of the game. The teams were equal in all aspects, the competition was fierce, and the game never offered an opportunity to predict a winner. The final score of Savage Pearls 6, Na Pali Properties 5, left many spectators on the edge of their seats.
The game featured the appearance of two outstanding women players who will be playing in the Wahine Tournament on Sunday next.
Kate Weber, from Thermal, CA, and Malia Boles from Spokane, WA exhibited outstanding horsemanship and polo skills which enthralled the spectators. Weber scored 3 goals during the match, and Boles scored 2 goals.
Peter Ganibi converted on a penalty shot from 60 yards which sailed between the pylons.
Ron Bonaguidi had 2 goals, one of which was the shot of the day. From 50 yards out, at a difficult angle, his near side shot went sailing over the goal line.
Max Secunda’s 2 goals and Mike Sheehan’s goal completed the scoring for the day.
Tournament Polo continues at Anini Field next Sunday at 3 p.m. with the annual Wahine Tournament featuring women players from California and Washington as well as Kauai.
The public is welcome. Adults $10. per person; 12-18, $5. per person. Club matches are played on Fridays at 4 p.m.